In Sukkot, our rabbis explain, nidonim al hamaim, our livelihood is determined. In other words, assuming we were granted good health to make it to the next year (notice that we ask God to live: 'one year at a time') the question remains:will we be granted the means to maintain a life of dignity?
The KEY word used to request a dignified livelihood is 'rain'.
Man can work the land, saw the seeds and watch his field, but ultimately ,it is the rain what will determine the successof the harvest. Rain is the most elemental requirement for nutrition and Parnasa livelihood.
At the end of Sukkot, from the Musaf prayer of Shemini Atzeret we change the words Morid haTal ((You) make the dew descend) for "Mashib haRuach uMorid haGeshem,"
" You make the wind blow, and the rain descend."
It is important to notice that at this specific point we are not actually askingfor rain yet. As we explained yesterday, during the first three blessing of the Amida we don't ask God for our needs, we praise Him for His power and kindness. When saying Mashib haRuach we are acknowledging (not asking to!) God as the source of rain, and by extension, the ultimate source of our Parnasa.
Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC 130 Steamboat Rd. Great Neck NY 11024